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Do As I Say and NOT As I Do!

The President of the Republic confirmed today that he would participate in the commemoration of Portugal Day (25th of April) in parliament, “with a small number of deputies,” and again on the 10th of June, in a “symbolic ceremony” next to the Jerónimos Monastery, Lisbon. At a time when the CDS-PP and Chega are contesting holding such an event given the restrictions imposed to combat the spread of the covid-19.

In his press release the President reiterated that “he will participate in the ceremonies on the 25th  of April and the 10th of June.  On the 25th under the terms defined by the Assembly of the Republic, a small number of deputies will be present at the event.  Concerning the 10th of June, there will be a “symbolic ceremony” in front of the Jerónimos Monastery, while the celebrations planned in Madeira are postponed until next year, as this involves the movement of both troops and civilians at a time of social isolation and restricted movement.

Speaking to journalists on the 27th of  March, the President of the Republic defended his position by saying that the 25th of  April “must be celebrated, because democracy is not suspended, the country is not suspended,” declaring that he has the full support of the Assembly of the Republic

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa also included the 10th of June in the list of “dates that cannot fail to be celebrated”. Yet the day before, he announced the cancellation of Portugal Day celebrations in Madeira and South Africa, which he said he hoped could happen next year, replacing them with a ceremony in Lisbon “with the care imposed by the circumstances.”

So, if a State of Emergency is a situation where a government is empowered to perform actions or impose policies that it would normally not be permitted to undertake without a vote, isn’t this the suspension of democracy?

Samantha Gannon

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Madeira Weekly